ACARA news, December 2017

2016 NAP – Civics and Citizenship report released


13 December 2017

Student performance nationally in Civics and Citizenship for 2016 has remained stable for Year 6, but Year 10 student performance has fallen, a report released today shows. 

The National Assessment Program (NAP) – Civic and Citizenship assessment tests students’ knowledge of important civics and citizenship issues. This test is held every three years in a sample of schools across the country. 

Assessment results 

"The national results of the 2016 test show that 55 per cent of Year 6 students achieved at or above the proficient standard, which is similar to previous years," said ACARA’s CEO, Robert Randall. 

"However, for Year 10, 38 per cent of students achieved at or above the proficient standard. This is significantly lower than in each of the two previous test cycles (2010 and 2013), but not significantly different from test results in 2007 or 2004."  

Other achievement results from the report show:

  • Nationally, at Year 6 and Year 10, female students performed better than male students.
  • While the achievement of non-Indigenous Year 10 students has decreased since 2010, the achievement of Indigenous students has remained stable over the same period of time (although there continues to be a significant difference in the mean performance of non-Indigenous and Indigenous students).
  • Overall, both Year 6 and Year 10 students from metropolitan schools had the highest scale scores, and those from remote schools had the lowest scale scores.
  • No significant difference in scale scores was found between Year 6 students born in Australia and those born overseas. However, Year 10 students born in Australia outperformed those born overseas by 18 score points – a significant difference.

Survey of student attitudes to civics and citizenship 

In addition to reporting on student achievement in, and knowledge of, Civics and Citizenship content, the report also provides information from a student survey. This survey assesses perceptions of citizenship behaviours, students’ trust in civic institutions and processes, and students’ attitudes towards Indigenous cultures and Australian diversity. The results of the student survey provide some interesting insights and show:

  • Voting in elections was seen as important by 85 per cent of Year 6 and 84 per cent of Year 10 students.
  • Participating in activities to benefit the local community was seen as important by 83 per cent of Year 6 students and 78 per cent of Year 10 students. 
  • Approximately two out of three Year 10 students indicated that they had collected money for a charity or social cause.
  • About three-quarters of Year 6 and Year 10 students reported interest in global issues and in what is happening in other countries.
  • Approximately half of all Year 6 and Year 10 students viewed discussing politics as an important citizenship behaviour (55 per cent in Year 6 and 51 per cent in Year 10).
  • Since 2013, the biggest and the most significant shift occurred for students using the internet to gather news (+16 percentage points for Year 10, and +19 percentage points for Year 6).

“The highest levels of trust in civic institutions at both year levels were reported for the police and law courts, while the lowest percentages of trust were found for social media," said Mr Randall.

"Most students in Years 6 and 10 indicated positive attitudes towards Australian Indigenous cultures, and nine out of ten students endorsed the notion that Australia should support the cultural traditions and languages of Indigenous Australians. Overall, the percentage of students demonstrating positive attitudes towards Australian Indigenous cultures and Australian diversity has increased significantly since 2010."

To view the report, visit the 'NAP sample assessments' page of the NAP website.

Release of NAPLAN 2017 National Report


13 December 2017

ACARA has released the 2017 NAPLAN National Report, which confirms the findings of the preliminary NAPLAN results released in August. 

“This was the tenth year of NAPLAN, and since 2008, we have seen some improvement across all year levels in most domains,” said ACARA CEO, Robert Randall. 

“There is also evidence of student movement from lower to higher bands of achievement over the last decade.” 

Significant cumulative gains in some domains and year levels have also been identified within specific student groups since 2008:  

  • Indigenous students have shown gains in reading (Years 3 and 5), spelling (Years 3 and 5), grammar and punctuation (Years 3 and 7) and numeracy (Years 5 and 9).
  • Students with a language background other than English (LBOTE) have shown gains in reading (Years 3 and 5), grammar and punctuation (Years 3 and 7), spelling (Years 3 and 5) and numeracy (Year 5).

The 2017 results also show that female students performed significantly better than male students in writing, and grammar and punctuation across all year levels; and students with a language background other than English performed significantly better in spelling than their non-LBOTE peers across all year levels. 

“NAPLAN withdrawals and absentee rates remain stable, with no major changes in the 2017 participation rates compared to 2016,” Mr Randall said. “The vast majority of students take part in NAPLAN and treat it as a regular part of the school calendar.”

See the interactive results on the NAP website.

Test incidents report 

The 2017 NAPLAN Test Incidents Report has also been released. Test incidents can include cheating, security breaches and other ‘general breaches’.
Of the 69 substantiated test incidents this year, three were cheating breaches, 21 were security breaches, and 45 were ‘general breaches’ (general breaches relate to incorrect administration of the NAPLAN tests). 

“Given that approximately five million NAPLAN tests are administered each year, this represents a very small percentage of incidents,” Mr Randall said. “It is good to see that most of the 2017 test incidents were self-reported by schools – testimony to the professionalism of teachers, educators and school administrators.”

See the 2017 NAPLAN Test Incident Report (PDF 387 kb).


Digital Technologies in focus: update


11 December 2017

Over the past six months, ACARA’s Digital Technologies in focus project lead, Julie King, along with other members of the DTiF team, has been travelling around Australia delivering workshops to support the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies. The Darwin workshop, held at the Department of Education office on 23 November, was the final leg of the trip.

150+ schools are developing their project proposals for implementation over the next two years. Most schools have now also participated in a webinar to share their projects and to reflect on progress.

Curriculum officers are now planning schools visits and preparing professional learning sessions, both face-to-face and online. Building connections between schools with similar projects will be a key focus in early 2018. 

Darwin The final workshop in Darwin: Julie King travelled around Australia for six months, running DTiF workshops to support implementation of Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies 

Read more 


ACARA's data portal updated


06 December 2017

Today ACARA has updated the National Report on Schooling Data Portal, which allows interactive access to various national data sets for schooling. Some existing data sets have been refreshed with more recent data, and some new data sets have been added, including a dashboard of key performance measures for schooling in Australia.

The data portal is updated twice a year to provide users with the most recent information possible; the next refresh is scheduled for April 2018.